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Curlbro is a pejorative slang term referring to gym-goers that focus on training their arms when weight lifting. It is often used on 4chan’s /fit/ (fitness) board and the BodyBuilding Forums to stress the importance of compound exercises and leg training or to mock those who perform curl exercises in the squat rack. Curlbros are often associated with the Jersey Shore “guido” stereotype along with steroid use and excessive tanning.
The earliest known use of the word “curlbro” was posted in the “Life and Fitness” board of the United Kingdom-based Internet forum The Student Room on November 11th, 2010. In the thread, forum user TheWaterfield critiqued the original poster’s workout regimen by calling him a “curlbro” for excluding leg exercises in his routine.
The first Urban Dictionary definition for “curlbro” was submitted by user Broseidon_ on December 10th, 2010, which defined the term as a type of weight lifter who prefers arm isolation exercises.
A curlbro enjoys lifting weights in his free time. The focus of his workout regimen is on ‘getting big arms’ – because that’s the only part of your body that usually sticks out when curlbros are ‘in da club, partying it up wid da chixx’. A curlbro usually doesn’t know anything about fitness and his goal isn’t to develop an aesthetically pleasing body but rather just grow big ‘disco muscles, bro!’ to impress ‘da chixx, brah!’.
On January 8th, 2011, BodyBuilding Forums member MrGoodcat joked that a poster was an evolved form of curlbro for posting a photoshopped picture of his biceps. On February 7th, a greentext story about dealing with curlbros at the gym was submitted to the /fit/ (fitness) board on 4chan.
On April 28th, a user named “Curlbro” joined the BodyBuilding forums, but was banned for linking to the rival forum Dual Fit on February 5th, 2012. On June 6th, the Twin Muscle Workout YouTube channel posted a video titled “Don’t be a curl monkey in the gym!” (shown left), which mocked men who focused on curl exercises while ignoring tricep training. On December 22nd, YouTuber lolzgym uploaded a compilation of gym-related fail clips accompanied by a remix of the Gregory Brothers’ Double Rainbow song with several jokes about “curling in the squat rack” (shown right).
On March 3rd, 2012, a “Curlbro” page was created on the image macro generator Quickmeme, which featured a stock photo of a muscular man with the caption “Rack’s closed / due to curls.” On April 19th, the @CurlBro Twitter account was launched with facetious tweets written from the perspective of an obnoxious gym-goer.
— Curl Bro (@CurlBro) April 19, 2012
Several YouTubers have uploaded videos labeled “Curl Bro” with gym footage of men performing the curl exercise with poor form or in inappropriate locations
The Student Room – If I eat normally, but I still go to the gym, will I get a better body?